After spending over 2 weeks in Vieques, out of all the places we've cruised, I would just like to say that Vieques has been our least favorite island. Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty, but in terms of all the islands thus far, it has been the most touristy and least beautiful we've been to. We anchored off of Esperanza to spend an additional week with my sister and her boyfriend. Since Vieques used to be a military testing/bombing range by the US since the 1940s up until 2003, the island itself is not the lush paradise that you would expect from any given caribbean destination. Everything has a little bit of a dead, almost desert like feel to it, where you could see that it could be as fruitful as its surrounding islands, but it simply isn't because of the bombings and pollution associated with that. Even in terms of coral, most places we dove on where you could see remnants of the once lively coral sadly were dead and gray. There were some spots near our anchorage where there was some live fan coral, but for the most part, the water was murky and devoid of any fish. It seems though that it is a little haven for hipsters, and I could see why this touristy strip of bars and restaurants paired with its pretty little beaches could inspire pale bearded college kids guarded with their straw fedoras and dressed like lumberjacks to visit here. It seems most days here are spent drinking yourself stupid and just relaxing, which to Frank and I is not our idea of traveling. Why bother when you can just do that at home? But ultimately, we made the most of it and spent a majority of our time just laying around on the beaches, jumping off docks, going on car hikes, and simply enjoying my sister's company. Since my sister and her fiancé had rented a Jeep Wrangler and an airBnB here, we took advantage of the landlubber luxuries and did our laundry at her place, took unlimited hot showers (I showered almost twice a day, everyday), as well as used her car to run errands such as propane refills and jerry canned-diesel runs. Thanks, Upbe…I miss you already :(
|Sugar mill ruins|
|A little car hiking….|
|My sister and her fiancé|
PS-As if there weren't more reasons for us to dislike Vieques, just FYI, there is a lot of petty theft here in Vieques. We had heard about this from other locals, but took it with a grain of salt until we had our dive gear stolen out of the back my sister's rental. Yup, a couple hundred dollars worth of masks, fins, etc. They even took Frank's swim shorts, which is completely absurd. So, if you do plan on visiting, just be sure to lock your dinghy and keep a good eye out for your stuff.